You should consider having second dental health professional weigh in on your dental health concerns if:
- Your dentist has diagnosed a major problem, such as oral cancer.
- You have had dental work that is not fixing your problem.
- You are unsure if the recommended treatment is necessary, or you're concerned about whether costs.
- You feel that your dentist is not qualified to treat your dental health problem.
- You don't have good rapport with your current dentist.
The Benefits of Getting a Second Opinion for Dental Work
All dentists have unique backgrounds, because they were trained differently or because they have seen different sets of dental health problems in their practice. Multiple perspectives can help you make an informed decision about treatment.
Another reason you may want to seek a second opinion is if you need to see a specialist. Some dentists specialize in certain conditions or aspects of dental health, and seeing a specialist in addition to your general dentist may be advantageous — the specialist will have more experience in diagnosing and treating problems like yours.
Where to Go and What You Should Ask
There are several ways you can find another dentist to assess your problem:
- Ask your primary dentist. If you have a good relationship with your current dentist, ask him or her for a referral to another dentist for a second opinion. "I've had patients ask me whom they can turn to for a second opinion," says Price.
- Ask loved ones. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your current dentist about your concerns, ask friends or family to recommend a dentist.
- Call a dental society. A local or national dental society may be able to provide a referral for a second opinion consultation.
- Contact a local dental school. If you live near a dental college, call to see if they can suggest a dentist for a second opinion.
Also call your dental health insurance company before you go to a second dentist. Many plans will cover a second opinion, but there may be certain steps you and your current dentist will need to take in order for the second opinion to be covered.
Once you find a second dentist, consider asking these questions:
- Do you agree with the diagnosis my dentist has made?
- What treatment options do I have for my problem?
- How much will each option cost me?
- How will each treatment option improve my dental health?
- What will happen if the problem is not treated?
- What are the risks of each treatment option?
- How long will the treatment benefits last? Will I need future treatments?
Our office offers complimentary consultation for second opinions. Visit